My days in elementary school predate “New Math,” “Outcome-Based Education” and “Moral Relativism.” Back in the day, it was all about Readin,’ ‘Ritin,’ and ‘Rithmatic. But unlike most nouveau educational schemes, the State of Virginia has recently signed into law a new act that will add “Rifles” and “Revolvers” to the three “R”s. And that’s a good thing. As reported by Fox News (who else?), Governor Bob McDonell signed a bill into law that mandates a firearms education curriculum for schools. Liberal outrage was swift, certain, and dare I say, predictable.
“I personally don’t think firearm safety has a place in the schools,” opined Lori Haas, spokeswoman for the Virginia Center for Public Safety. “That’s up to the parents to teach that at home.”
Haas presumes parents know Sig Sauers from Shinola when it comes to firearms. But when she talks, people listen—if only because her daughter is a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007). She’s livid that state lawmakers are adding burdensome, unwanted mandates on state school boards.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) sponsored program does not advocate owning guns. It doesn’t teach how to shoot a gun. Nope. It imparts the same sort of “stop, drop and roll” phillosophy that kids learn in fire safety classes, ergo: “If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.”
On the Eddie the Eagle section of the NRA website, the org assures politically sensitive parents that Eddy’s job “isn’t to teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children.” What could possibly be objectionable about that?
Oh. Yeah. Because the course is provided by the NRA.
Anti-gun advocates have this thing about the NRA. To them, the NRA is to gun issues what Dubya was to the Presidency: a whipping boy/Judas goat to be universally reviled. Doesn’t matter to the anti-gun crowd if they agree with anything the NRA says. It’s enough that it came from the NRA.
The incredibly brain-dead, Luddite-lovin’, STUPID part of all this: the self-same people decrying ANY kind of gun education programs in school tend to support sex education. Huh? So what; this is a kind of “make love, not war” vibe?
Seriously, does it make sense to teach kids how to deal with fire, be safe around electricity, practice safe sex, and yet run the opposite direction when somebody wants to teach them not to touch a gun and report any guns they find to a responsible adult?
I don’t know about you, but I want my kid to have a healthy respect for guns. As in “respect them enough to avoid getting shot by one.” Anything schools can do to help with that effort has got to be a good thing. Isn’t it?
Nicely put, Brad. I think firearms training for kids needs to include some range time. The risk: it might pique their interest. The reward: if presented properly, they would get a genuine, visceral understanding of and appreciation for what they're [not] messing with. In states where gun culture is practically non-existent (like my home state of RI), the experiential aspect would be crucial.